Park Ji-Sung, a fan-favorite former participant for Manchester United, requested the soccer membership’s followers on Sunday to cease singing a tune in his honor that features the racist stereotype that Koreans eat canine meat.
As a embellished midfielder for the group from 2005 to 2012, Park earned the adoration of the group’s followers, who bestowed upon him a standard honor within the soccer world: a tune or chant, typically carried out within the stadium, with lyrics meant to reward him.
But the reference to canine meat was “very uncomfortable to me,” although he was proud that followers made a tune for him and he understood they didn’t intend to offend or damage him, he stated on an official group podcast launched on Sunday.
He thought he needed to settle for it, he stated, having come to Britain from South Korea as a younger participant who was unfamiliar with the tradition. But he heard followers sing the tune once more in August when Hwang Hee-chan, a South Korean, made his debut for the Wolverhampton Wanderers in a recreation in opposition to Manchester United.
“I should probably speak out more loud this time,” Park stated on the podcast. Even if followers didn’t imply any offense, he stated, “I have to educate for the fans to stop that word, which is these days usually a racial insult to the Korean people.”
Manchester United stated in an announcement that it “fully supports Ji-sung’s comments and urges fans to respect his wishes.”
References to canine meat have lengthy been used as an assault on Koreans abroad, a stereotype rooted within the nation’s longstanding battle over the continuing, however diminishing, observe of elevating canine for human consumption. Most Koreans don’t eat canine meat now; a September 2020 survey by Nielsen discovered that 84 p.c of Koreans both have by no means eaten it or don’t intend to take action sooner or later.
The tradition has “changed enormously” over the a long time and much more quickly lately, stated Lola Webber, a director of campaigns to finish canine meat consumption for Humane Society International. Most youthful Koreans are appalled by the thought, she stated, although some older Koreans nonetheless hunt down the meat at specialised eating places.
“It is not part of mainstream culture by any means in South Korea,” she stated. “It hasn’t been for a very long time, but especially in the last few years, there’s been a very vocal opposition.”
Last week, President Moon Jae-in of South Korea recommended banning the consumption of canine meat, recognizing it as a world embarrassment.
The world’s prime soccer golf equipment have constantly wrestled with racist conduct by a few of their followers. In 2017, Romelu Lukaku, who’s Black, requested Manchester United followers to cease singing a tune for him that contained a racial stereotype. Some followers refused, following the tune with a brand new one: “We’re Man United, we’ll sing what we want.”